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Sales agreement reached for Rock Airport/business park

| Wednesday, March 19, 2014, 8:03 p.m.

An affiliate of data technology company Management Science Associates has an agreement to buy the Rock Airport and Business Park in West Deer.

According to the agreement obtained by the Valley News Dispatch, MSA's affiliate, Alaskan Property Management LLC, has offered to buy the property for $6 million.

The agreement is subject to bankruptcy court review and approval. It also can be challenged by Rock's current ownership or by others interested in bidding on the property.

The property off Russellton Road has been in bankruptcy proceedings since 2009.

If approved, the sale would be a major step toward finalizing the bankruptcy case.

MSA, the business park's largest tenant, said in a news release it hopes to expand its operations and produce new development and jobs at the business park.

The company did not indicate whether the airport would remain open.

Airport president Rock Ferrone, however, said all indications are that the company would close the airport.

“They've said to the trustee and the attorneys that they're going to shut it down,” he said.

Throughout the bankruptcy, operations at the airport have continued with air traffic from mostly personal and small corporate planes and a business park with five tenants. One of those tenants is the Valley News Dispatch's parent company, Trib Total Media, which has a printing and distribution center at the park.

Ferrone said he's disappointed that the bankruptcy trustee signed the agreement, considering that MSA and Rock Airport have several civil suits pending in Allegheny County Court.

“That claim is that MSA did certain things to stress the project and work with other folks to try to ultimately take over the airport in a foreclosure and bankruptcy, which has now come to roost in the sales agreement that was signed,” he said.

As part of the bankruptcy court's review of the sale, Ferrone will have the opportunity to file a formal objection.

Additionally, if another company or companies outbid MSA, the bankruptcy court would probably accept the highest qualified bid.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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